Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck has a couple of huge reasons to be pulling for the Packers in Sunday’s Super Bowl XLV matchup against the Steelers.
The Big Game on Sunday Northwest fans are pulling for who?! Packers! I have offically disowned my cousin for the weekend!!!
Let’s see, he began his NFL career as a member of the Packers and was part of the 2005 Seahawks team that lost to the Steelers in Super Bowl XL.
One guess who Matt Hasselbeck is pulling for in Sunday’s Super Bowl XLV game?
The Seahawks quarterback with a smile said “It’s an easy pick”.
“I’m obviously rooting for the Packers. The Steelers are a really good football team, though, and they’ve done a nice job this year.”
That they have. The Steelers went 12-4 during the regular season, with the losses coming against teams that also advanced to the playoffs – the Ravens, the Saints, the Patriots and the Jets. In the postseason, the Steelers avenged two of those losses, beating the Ravens and Jets.
But Hasselbeck can’t sever his historical – and hysterical – ties.
The Packers selected him in the sixth round of the 1998 NFL draft. He was with the Packers for three seasons before being traded to the Seahawks. Packers coach Mike McCarthy was Hasselbeck’s position coach in 1999.
“I love Mike McCarthy as a coach,” Hasselbeck said. He see the big picture. He did a great job with the offensive line and understanding the relationship between the run and the pass.
“So there are a lot of people that I know there that I’m rooting for.”
Then there are the painful memories of that Feb. 5, 2006, game against the Steelers at Ford Field in Detroit. Many Seahawks fans still blame the loss on some questionable calls by the officials.
“Like probably all of Seattle, I’m rooting against the Steelers,” Hasselbeck said, referencing Pittsburgh’s 21-10 victory in Super Bowl XL.
“But the Steelers,” he quickly added, “they always seem to find a way. They play great defense.”
Sunday’s game matches the No. 2 (Steelers) and No. 5 (Packers) defenses in the league during the regular season.
“That’s why the Packers have done well in the playoffs, because they’ve played great defense,” Hasselbeck said of Green Bay, the NFC’s No. 6 seed in the playoffs, holding the Eagles to 16 points, the Falcon to 21 points and the Bears to 14 points in the playoffs – all on the road.
“But the Steelers defense is just really special. They’ve got a Super Bowl-style of defense. Troy Polamalu was defensive player of the year for a reason. He’s an X-factor. Then you throw in the fact the Steelers have been there, and done it, there’s something to that, too.”
The Steelers not only won Super Bowl XL against the Seahawks, they also captured Super Bowl XLIII against the Cardinals. The Packers have not been to the Super Bowl since after the 1997 season – when Mike Holmgren was the coach and Brett Favre was the quarterback.
Still, Hasselbeck backs the Pack. “Got to,” he said.